7 security maneuvers to stay ahead of password exposures

How to stay ahead of the criminals
Credit: Robbie
How to stay ahead of the criminals

Attackers make unverified claims of compromised PayPal accounts on Pastebin. Here are seven security habits and maneuvers enterprises and consumers can use to stay ahead of password exposures.

RELATED: Crook offers 1,300 PayPal accounts, claims billions more are compromised

Use a different password for every account
Credit: Joel Kramer
Use a different password for every account

Attackers add your stolen credentials to dictionary attacks, which they use on other sites, eventually accessing other accounts that use the same password. Never use the same password twice.

Change your passwords often
Change your passwords often

The more often you change your passwords, the shorter the time that any stolen password is useful to an attacker.

Ask what other security measures and settings are available
Ask what other security measures and settings are available

Ask sites about added measures you can take and secure settings you can use in addition to passwords to thwart or limit unauthorized access.

Prefer sites that offer multi-factor authentication
Prefer sites that offer multi-factor authentication

The more you use sites that require more than one means of authentication / identification, the less useful your password alone will be to an attacker. Prefer sites that use two- or three-factor authentication measures such as security questions, location information, and recognized/authorized devices.

Ask what a breach will mean
Ask what a breach will mean

Ask site owners that maintain a password for you what a password breach will specifically mean in their case. It can be reassuring to know whether revealed passwords alone will give attackers access, what kind, and how much.

Watch social media and security news sites and blogs for reports of password breaches and potential breaches
Credit: baynados
Watch social media and security news sites and blogs for reports of password breaches and potential breaches

The sooner you learn of a breach, the sooner you can change your passwords.

Know what liability is yours and what liability belongs to the site
Know what liability is yours and what liability belongs to the site

In the event of a breach where your account is actually accessed and used in a costly manner, know whether you or the site owner will shoulder liability for the event’s financial and other costs. Credit card companies typically take financial responsibility. Know beforehand who will bear the brunt of any kinds of costs or inconveniences.